Disability discrimination case law – All Answers Ltd v W and Another

In the recent case of All Answers Ltd v W and Another, the Court of Appeal has held that when determining whether an impairment is ‘long term’ for the purposes of assessing disability status, the tribunal cannot consider events after the date of the discriminatory act?

What is disability discrimination?

Simply put, disability discrimination is discrimination arising from a disability. However, what you might not know is that the Equality Act 2010 encompasses a wider meaning so as to capture: direct disability discrimination, indirect disability discrimination, disability harassment and victimisation in the workplace. It also means that employers are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees and job applicants who are placed at a substantial disadvantage because of their disabilities.

All Answers Ltd v W and Another

The Claimants alleged they had suffered disability discrimination on 21st and 22nd August 2018. The Respondent (“R”) disputed the suggestion that the substantial impact on the Claimants of their impairments had lasted or was likely to last at least 12 months by August 2018. A tribunal found the Claimants were disabled but did not assess status at the date of the alleged discriminatory acts and, in the case of R, referred to evidence after August 2018. The Employment Appeal Tribunal, dismissing the Respondent’s appeal, held it was not illegitimate to consider evidence before and after the acts complained of to shed light on the existence of an impairment. Allowing the Respondent’s subsequent appeal, the Court of Appeal following McDougall v Richmond Adult Community College, held the question is whether the effect of an impairment has lasted or is likely to last at least 12 months as at the time of the alleged discriminatory acts. It must be assessed by reference to the facts and circumstances existing at the date of the alleged acts.

If you feel you have been discriminated, our experienced employment solicitors are here to help. Contact us today.

For more information on long term disability, read here.

For another interesting read where an employers knowledge of an employees disability was put into question, visit here.